Backcountry Horsemen of California
PUBLIC LANDS UPDATE
By VP of Public Lands Troy Patton
E-Bikes – There is good news and bad news.
First, the bad news - Tahoe National Forest has put forth a plan to add a total of 97 miles of trails for e-bikes by changing non-motorized trails to motorized trails and building new e-bike only trails. This means they are taking trails used by hikers and equestrians and allowing e-bikes on them, which basically makes them unusable for hikers and equestrians. They are avoiding putting e-bikes on motorcycle trails and are making separate trails for motorcycles and e-bikes by removing trails used by hikers and equestrians. Thank you to all who sent in comments against this plan. We soon will see how they answer our concerns.
The good news is that the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) won a court case to restore the ban on electric bikes on non-motorized trails in national parks.
The lawsuit challenges a 2019 order by the Department of Interior that directed the National Park Service to allow e-bikes on trails that allow bicycles.
The order was issued after an industry- dominated advisory committee lobbied the Interior Department to issue this order. This ruling gives their case the go-ahead to proceed and, hopefully, hints that the actions of the former Park Service leadership may not have been legal.
We will keep you updated. As you know, the Forest Service rules consider e-bikes a “motorized vehicle.”
Troy Patton, VP of Public Lands
To read more about this PEER case and its history, CLICK HERE.